Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4
(3 Ratings)  (3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.7
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4
The Down by the Bay 5K start and finish line will be located near the Bayland Groves area. You will be able to see the Start/Finish arch as you enter Baylands Park. The Tot Trot fun run will start/finish at the same location. Late starts will NOT be accommodated. This … MORE
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2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 80 81 65 74 66
L (°F) 47 56 55 49 46
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Recent reviews

    PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Event & Course Description: Down By The Bay 5K benefits the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. The start and finish is in Baylands Park, in Sunnyvale. From the start, participants … MORE

    Event & Course Description: Down By The Bay 5K benefits the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. The start and finish is in Baylands Park, in Sunnyvale. From the start, participants ran on a dirt trail along the south side of the park for about a third of a mile, and then another almost two thirds of a mile on paved trail next to the State Highway 237 freeway. Runners then turned toward the bay and ran along levees between marshes for a little over a mile and turned around, retracing their steps until the point the paved trail meets the park. At that point runners turned toward the bay and ran on dirt trail along the east side of the park until meeting the trail back to the start. Turning there, runners could go straight, up and over four mounds, and then to the finish. Or runners could go around the mounds to the finish.

    There were divisions for runners/walkers and for parents with strollers. In addition, before the race there was a Tot Trot that went over the four mounds and then back along the trail around the mounds, perhaps 100 yards. Because DBTB5K benefits a preschool, there were a LOT of kids doing the Tot Trot. There were also quite a few participants in the Stroller Division, and quite a few children under age 10 running/walking the 5K.

    Baylands Park is really nice, with a large grassy area, picnic areas shaded by trees, a good sized play area with slides and swings and such, and restrooms near the play area. The course is about 80%-85% dirt trail and about 90% exposed. In 2018 the weather was sunny and pleasant (still under 70F when I finished.

    Organization & Production: DBTB5K is organized by volunteers and preschool staff, and is register-and-run. The website information is complete. There was pre-race and race day check-in available. Parking was free (very nice!) and plentiful. The “feel” was very low key, but very smooth. The course wasn’t complicated, but there were friendly and encouraging course marshals at turns. The one aid station was at the 1/3//2 2/3 mile point. It was well and encouragingly staffed and still had water available near the end of the race when I went through.

    There were a couple of noteworthy changes from last year and when I did DBTB5K in 2015. The race has always been timed, but in 2018 the timing was done by SVETiming, who does LOTS of races all over the greater SF Bay Area. Results were available online race day afternoon, and possibly before noon (I didn’t check). In past years the race T-shirt was cotton, which is fine in my opinion for a charity 5K run. In 2018 the race Tee was tech type, a pleasant upgrade in my opinion.

    Bib: The DBTB5K bib has three horizontal stripes. Across the top is a white stripe with the Whale Tail logo for the race, the name, and the date. The middle is a broad orange stripe with the bib number. Across the bottom is a thin white stripe with the url for the race website.

    T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is navy blue tech type. In the front in orange block letters is the name of the race. Above that in light blue is the Whale Tail, and below, also in light blue is the race date. On the back in light blue are the sponsors’ logos and the logo of the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. All in all it’s a really nice race T-shirt!

    Finisher’s Medal: Other than prizes for the male and female top three runners, DBTB5K is a no finishers medal race. It’s a charity race, so I’m entirely fine with that. On the other hand, children who ran the Tot Trot each received their own finishers medal, which I think is really cool!

    Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area had activities for children and sponsors’ tables. For recovery food there were bagels, cream cheese, bananas, and oranges. Pretty average/normal I guess. The bagel I had was fresh and the cream cheese shmeared on by a very cheerful food handler wearing gloves. There are picnic tales near the expo and play areas where one could eat, drink and recover.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: If it isn’t already obvious, I really enjoyed 2018 Down By The Bay 5K. Low key, beautiful day, kids having fun, very pleasant course … what’s not to like?! 2018 was my second year in a row and my third time doing the race. There’s a really good chance I’ll do it again in 2019.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Event & Course Description: The Down by the Bay 5K & Tot Trot is put on by and benefits the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. Being a charity race, my … MORE

    Event & Course Description: The Down by the Bay 5K & Tot Trot is put on by and benefits the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. Being a charity race, my expectations are different from a race put on by professional organizers. One further comment, comparing my course description in my 2015 Rave and the event’s course map (the course hasn’t changed), I don’t know what I was saying. Doh!

    The race is set in Sunnyvale Baylands Park. The start/finish arch is on a dirt single track trail, between the Baylands Grove and the Discovery Play Area. The recovery and activities area is in an open grassy area adjacent to the play area. The course is an out-and-back, with the first 1/2 of a mile being different.

    Runners went about 30 or 40 yards down the dirt trail to the asphalt parking access road. After 100 yards or so, the course turned onto a trail that paralleled the access road, with the park’s picnic areas and eucalyptus grove along the other side of the trail. After a couple hundred yards the trail rejoined the access road. Because the distance isn’t any different and the surface is smoother, most parents with strollers chose to stay on the access road. Where the trail rejoined the road was the location of the race’s only water station. Runners would pass the station twice on the run. The access road (the Baylands Park Trail) continued for another half mile or so, with a wall on one side (with the Highway 237 freeway on the other side of the wall) and marshes on the other. At the end of the access road and just before Calabasas Creek, runners turned onto the Bay Trail, which is on a levee, and proceeded about a half a mile between marshes to the turn-around. On the return leg, when runners reached the water station they turned onto a trail that circles along the bay side of the park and turned onto the single track trail that led toward the finish. At this point runners could choose to go straight, over four short mounds, or go a little farther, around the mounds. The finish was then 40 or 50 yards ahead.

    The race mixes beautiful shady eucalyptus groves in the park with the bleak beauty of the marshes and wetlands along most of the course. I didn’t notice much freeway noise or smell during the half mile section along Highway 237. For those who used the trail instead of the access road, the course would have been about 2/3 packed dirt and gravel trail. Other than the 300 or 400 yards along the picnic areas the course was entirely exposed. In November that usually doesn’t matter, but it is worth remembering and checking weather.

    Organization & Production: Down by the Bay is so well organized, with information on the website and emails, that it’s a no worries Register-and-Run race. Except for the race timing people, the race is entirely organized and staffed by a few school staff and lots of volunteers. The water station is encountered a bit early and late in the race, maybe, but its location is dictated by the trails rather than by chosen poorly. On a reasonable day it works fine. The volunteers at the aid station were friendly, helpful, and encouraging. They were also at a key turn, directing runners on their return leg. There were course marshals along the course, with several stationed at the turn-around point. I think I saw some volunteers from a high school or junior high, and some from a Girl Scout Troop.

    The finish arch was on a single track trail, so they did not hand out water there. Runners walked 60 or 80 yards to the recovery area where there was bottled water, bananas, oranges, apples,bagels and cream cheese, and blueberry coffee cake (the food handlers wore gloves). The recovery area also had games and activities for kids.

    The “Tot Trot” mentioned in the name of the race was run before the 5K race started. The course went from the arch, over the mounds used by the 5K, and back along the trail around the mounds (no 2-way traffic!). I’d guess it was 150-200 yards, not trivial. It was very preschooler and toddler friendly, with many parents accompanying or carrying their children. All Tot Trotters received a finisher’s medal on a beaded chain.

    Bib: The bib has a plain white background. The name of the race is across the top in orange letters. Below that is the logo of the race, a blue whale’s tail, and the bib number. In between the name of the race and the bib number, in small letters, is the date. At the bottom are logos of a sponsor and the school. I believe the 2016 bibs were the same, except for the date (smart!). Not spectacular, but easily a cut above a plain white bib with number and sponsor name.

    T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is dark charcoal gray, of a 50-25-25 cotton-rayon-polyester blend, not tech type, but soft to the touch (nicer in that respect than the 2015 Tee). The front has a circular design, with the name of the school around the top, the whale tail logo and race name in the center, and the date around the bottom. The back has the logos of the various sponsors. It’s a pretty nice race Tee, but the fit is almost a size smaller than most I have, which means it doesn’t fit me. Since I use my race Tees for workouts and for general casual wear, this is “advertising” that the Down by the Bay 5K may not get (unless I become smaller in circumference, which would be a good thing).

    Finisher’s Medal: There was no finisher’s medal for the 5K runners. It’s a charity race with a strong family emphasis, so I have no problem with there being medals for the Tot Trotters but not 5K runners. It really is about the kids, at the school and at the race event.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: Despite the four mounds that are almost like small hills, my finish time was 70 seconds faster than last week’s completely flat 5K. It was also under a certain time goal I had set, so I’m pretty happy that I’m making progress.

    All in all, Down by the Bay 5K was a very well done race. The shirt fit is a disappointment, but it is what it is. Maybe next year they’ll choose a different shirt with a different fit. The race was really well done from checking it out through leaving the parking lot (FREE!) to go home. Down by the Bay 5K was a very pleasant race experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '15

    Course description: The Down by the Bay 5K starts and finishes in Sunnyvale's Baylands Park. The race starts on the Baylands Park Trail, through the picnic area, and then goes … MORE

    Course description:
    The Down by the Bay 5K starts and finishes in Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park. The race starts on the Baylands Park Trail, through the picnic area, and then goes out-and-back leg along that trail and the Bay Trail (about .8 miles on the latter). When it reaches the picnic area the course follows the Baylands Bike Trail around the periphery of the picnic area until it reaches the Baylands Park Trail, which it takes to the finish. Basically the course forms a loop around the picnic area, and the out-and-back forms 3 of the four sides of a trapezoid.

    About 40% of the course is paved parking lot or trail, and the rest is packed dirt and fine gravel. The scenery was generally pleasant – marshland and surrounding slightly higher ground. Other than 4 very short hills approaching the finish – there was a flatter bypass path for those who wanted/needed it – the course was almost flat.

    Organization & Production:
    Easy registration. Two days’ packet pick-up at Sunnyvale Sports Basement, quick and smooth.

    About 30 or 40 yards from the start/finish arch is a playground, and sponsors tables were set up on the lawn.

    Since the race benefited a preschool, parents with strollers were encouraged to participate.

    The course was not marked, as such, but there were volunteers at every turn to direct and encourage runners. I only noticed a marker for Mile 2.

    There was one aid station, water only, positioned for runners to pass twice, with about 2 miles between.

    The race was chip timed, both starts and finishes, nice for a small charity race.

    The after race area was nicely set up with food and sponsors’ tables, conveniently near the playground (great for families with small kids!

    In addition to the 5K, there was a “Tot Trot” of maybe 100 yards, including 4 short hills. There were also some kids’ games in the food and sponsors area.

    Swag & Goodies:
    Swag – this was a no medal race (fine with me, it’s a charity 5K). The T-Shirt is dark blue cotton, with race name, logo (a whale tail), and date, and the name of the beneficiary on the front. On the back are the sponsors’ logos plus the race name and website on the back. All in all a very nice race T-shirt. The bib has all of the same information plus the bib number on a white background. All in all, very nice for a small, local, charity race.

    The after-race food was really good for a small charity-benefit race. There was Hint flavored bottled water (not chilled), whole bananas, a veggie platter, cut up bagels and cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake. I didn’t finish very late, so I didn’t see what and how much was left for late finishers.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    Because I haven’t done a chip-timed 5K in almost 4 years my finish time was a PR, by 7 minutes. So I was very happy with that.

    This was a sometimes basic, sometimes more than basic small local 5K race. Race organization was without a hitch, from what I could see. It’s worth noting that this was just the second year for this race. Who could (reasonably) want more from such a race? I would definitely consider doing this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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  1. Races
  2. Down by the Bay 5K & Tot Trot